Small hospitals and nursing unions....

Nurses General Nursing


I was wondering if there was anyone out there who knows of small (or rural) hospitals that the nurses are unionized? I work for a small, rural community hospital and some of us are interested in looking into unionization of the nurses. Our hospital is independent of any big corporation hospital. I would say in our hospital (and the two nursing homes operated by our hospital) probably about 200-250 nurses. I am not sure even how to go about this and I know that unionization of nurses is a touchy subject in our profession. I am just looking for some basic info on how to even get such an initiative started at our facility. Thanks....

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,856 Posts

Specializes in ER.

Our hospital is union shy- won't even put policies into place that have been used by unions, even if the policies are to the hospital's benefit. Go figure.

What about the ANA union branch? If they can't help I'm sure they'd know someone who could.

Home Health Columnist / Guide


11 Articles; 18,066 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

Signposts on The Road To Organizing


55 Posts

Our hospital also operates independently and we employ about 300 nurses. The RN's in our facility have been unionized for as long as I can remember. Currently they are unionized under the UAW. Before that it was the Professional Registered Nursese Organization. I know that the ANA currently has it's own bargining unit, I think that it is called The United American Nurses. I am pretty sure that you can find out about the UAN at the ANA website. I also think that you can get information about the UAW if you contact one of the Local organizations.

If I am not mistaken you can invite the Unions in for an informational meeting with the nurses with no obligation, but be prepared for the hard sell. I am also sure that if you should decide to go with the union you will only need a 51% majority in order to get them in. That is of people voting not 51% of the nurses in the hospital. In other words if youhave 200 nurses and only 50 of them vote you only need 51% of the voting nurses to agree. Be prepared for a great deal of grief from you administration. Good Luck.


992 Posts

Thanks for the replies.. I have spoken with several of my co-workers and they have mentioned becoming unionized before I said something to them...

Oh, I am sure administration and the board would put up an awful fight, but what do I have to lose? The morale at the hospital is in the toilet and admininstration keeps rolling over us like a steam roller.

Anyone out there willing to tell me some of the horror stories about administration trying to bust the union efforts? And how do the nurses who are trying to unionize defend themselves?


Home Health Columnist / Guide


11 Articles; 18,066 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

Do a search here---topic covered before. also PM _JT for her words of wisdom.

I can put you in touch with NYSNA labor rep if interested.

P.S.:also have contacts at PA SEIU and PASNAP.

OC_An Khe

1,018 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care,Recovery, ED.

Agree with the above posts, particularly if you are from the Empire State.

All Union drives involve a lot of emotion. How nasty it becomes depends entirely on the employer and when and how they decide to fight the Unionization effort. Some do from day one, others wait until the NLRB election is called for, others during the contract phase if the Union is voted in and others do all three. The later in the process the Administrators begins to fight /resist the less"horror" stories you will hear.

It is a lengthy process and can take a few years to obtain your first contract. It is worth it in the long run.

Feel free to PM me about further stories or insights.

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